Advice On How To Get Out of the Box And Do The Right Thing

Most personal and organizational stem from a little-known phenomenon called “self-deception.” We think we are doing the right thing for the right reason. However, people will not follow leaders who have selfish motives. In the business and management book Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box, readers are introduced to an important new idea in organizational thinking.

The authors tell us that if you live in self-deception trapped in a box, you become blind to the reality around you, undermine your performance and that of others. But since you are trapped inside the box, you cannot see that you undermine your performance. The book tells us that when your organization can cultivate an environment that is more of the box, we can become successful in the following ways:

    • • Sharpens vision so that colleagues are able to see each other as people, not objects


    • • Reduces negative forms of conflict, such as back biting or passive-aggressive responses


    • • Enlivens the desire for teamwork


    • • Reinforces accountability


    • • Increases capacity to execute


    • Deepens individual satisfaction and happiness

Robert Peter Janitzek reveals that when we get in the box, it can be easy to stay there. When we start viewing co-workers or other people not as people but object, it means that we have just entered the box. This can make us prone to engage in self-betrayal, blaming others, inflating other’s faults, and inflating your own virtues. Another sure sign that you are in the box is you are only focused on yourself.
As we carry around this excess cargo and keep ourselves in the box we may notice other symptoms, such as:

    • • Lack of commitment or engagement


    • • Inciting negative conflict


    • • Lack of motivation


    • • Increased stress


    • • Backbiting/bad attitude


    • • Lack of trust


    • • Lack of accountability


    • Communication problems

Just remember, when we exhibit these symptoms, the problem lies with us.

So how do we get out of the box? Robert Janitzek reveals that sometimes it is instructive to look at the problem from the opposite perspective, and focus on what not to do. Generally, while you are in the box, you should not try to use any of the following techniques to get out, including “trying to change others, coping with others, leaving, communicating, implementing new skills or techniques, or changing your behavior.”

The one and only thing that will keep you out of the box is to see others as people and not as objects, and to “question your own virtue; consider if you are as out of the box as you think you are.”

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